Half a dozen new laws expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care will take effect in Maine on Thursday, which is great news for people who live in Maine!
As reported by a local CBS affiliate, the six new pieces of legislation, which Gov. Janet Mills signed into law during Maine’s legislative session earlier this year, will guarantee private and public insurance coverage of abortion, allow any trained nurse practioner or nurse midwife to provide abortion care, make emergency contraception available in vending machines, and strengthen minors’ access to sexual and reproductive health care, among other things.
“We saw what was happening across the country, particularly in southern states, where reproductive rights were being taken away,” Sen. Linda Sanborn, one of the sponsors of the bills, told VICE. “We want [people] to be able to get care from a trusted provider in [their] own community, no matter their income or health insurance.”
With the new laws in effect, making abortion services and other forms of reproductive health care more accessible than every to people of all ages, Maine will stand in stark relief to states like Georgia and Louisiana, which passed restrictive, near-total abortion bans earlier this year. Alabama passed one of the most frightening anti-abortion laws in recent months, banning the procedure without exception in what many believe to be an intentional challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States, making Maine’s new slate of laws all the more welcome and, unfortunately, remarkable.
“Maine is a state where access to reproductive and sexual health care is essential to living a healthy, successful life,” Nicole Clegg, the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, said in a press release on Tuesday. “This year, Maine lawmakers sent a clear message that access to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, is critical. These rights are non-negotiable.”
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.